facebook Patient Portal Provider Portal
Santa Ana: (714) 972-8432Newport Beach: (949) 646-3242San Juan Capistrano: (949) 496-0611 Laguna Hills: (949) 581-3618 Fullerton: (714) 451-0801
  • Diabetic Retinopathy

    Diabetes Mellitus involves blood vessels throughout the body, particularly in the retina. Diabetes is a disease in which the body has impaired ability to use and store glucose. This results in abnormally high levels of glucose in the bloodstream. High glucose levels may damage the delicate cells of the retinal capillaries. Sometimes the capillaries become occluded and the retina is deprived of oxygen. In some eyes the vessels walls become leaky and fluid seeps into the retinal tissue. This damage to retinal blood vessels is called diabetic retinopathy.

    There are two main types of diabetic retinopathy. The first is called background retinopathy and consists of leaky blood vessels and potential swelling of the retina, resulting in blurry vision. The second is called 'proliferative retinopathy' and is more advanced. In proliferative retinopathy, abnormal blood vessels form that may cause profound blurry vision by bleeding, scarring, or retinal detachment.

    The longer one has diabetes, the higher the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Approximately 80% of people who have diabetes for 15 years or more have some damage to their retinal vessels. This risk of developing diabetic retina problems is greatly reduced with good blood glucose control. Controlling the blood sugars requires a healthy diet, exercise as possible, regular use of medication as prescribed, and close follow-up with the managing primary care or diabetic doctor.

    Regular Orange County Retina exams are a critical to the eye health of diabetics. Annual exams are recommended, unless diabetic retina changes require more frequent exams.

  • What is Macular Degeneration?

    Macular DegenerationMacular degeneration, also known as Age Related Macular Degeneration or AMD, is an eye disease that is a major cause of visual loss for older patients. Macular degeneration is connected to a variety of factors including genetics and inflammation, but the precise cause of this disease is unknown. AMD causes impairment to the macula, which is the central portion of the retina. The macula is in charge of the focusing direct vision needed for activities such as driving at night, reading, or seeing details at a distance. At Orange County Retina, our AMD patients are typically 65 years or older as this disease is commonly related to aging.

    Types of Macular Degeneration

    Macular degeneration is often grouped into two qualifying categories, dry and wet types of AMD. The dry form, which is the most common type, can include the loss of retinal pigment and deposit of material in the tissues underlying the macula. These changes can lead to distorted or decreased vision as pigment fades and the materials build up. As the disease progresses, changes in the blood vessels underlying the retina can cause bleeding, which is the wet component of wet macular degeneration. Wet macular degeneration is less common in patients but can have serious effects on the eyes such as overall vision loss.

    What are Macular Degeneration Symptoms to look for?

    • Blurred Vision
    • Wavy lines
    • Blind spots
    • Long distance vision issues

    Schedule your Evaluation

    A thorough eye examination at Orange County Retina offices, including detailed examination of the retina, is recommended for all persons 40 years or older, especially those with a family history of eye disease such as AMD to reduce your risk of developing vision loss from this potentially serious eye condition.

    Risk factors for macular degeneration include:

    • Age over 60
    • Family history
    • Smoking cigarettes
    • Caucasian race
    • Female gender
    • Extensive sun exposure
    • Obesity
    • High blood pressure

    How do you treat Macular Degeneration?

    Your Orange County Retina eye specialist may recommend the daily use of supplements, which have been comprehensively studied in large clinical trials and have been shown to reduce the risk of developing more severe forms of AMD. You may be provided with an Amsler grid, a piece of graph paper with thick, dark lines that you can use to test your vision each day. This grid can be used at home to monitor for the progression of AMD. If the lines appear wavy or distorted, you should see your eye doctor immediately because it may be a sign that your condition has grown worse.

    Laser treatment to prevent the blood vessels from leaking is one form of therapy for wet AMD that your Orange County Retina specialist may recommend. A second mode of treatment involves the injection of medication into the eyeball. Macugen is an FDA approved medication and has been shown to significantly slow vision loss in patients with the wet form of AMD.

    Newer medications such as Avastin and Lucentis are likely to become the treatment of choice for many patients with wet AMD. The injection of these medications may need to be repeated several times to obtain their full effect however, and it should be emphasized that none of these treatments is likely to improve vision in AMD. They have been shown to slow the progression of vision loss, and further loss of vision may still occur despite these treatments.

  • Floaters

    You may occasionally see small dots or blurred spots moving in your field of vision. You can often see them when looking at a plain background, like a blank wall or the sky. Floaters are actually tiny bundles of gel or cells inside the vitreous, the clear jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye. Although the floaters appear to be in front of the eye, they are actually floating in the vitreous fluid inside the eye. What you see are the shadows they cast on the retina, the nerve layer at the back of the eye that senses light and allows you to see.

    The vitreous is a clear gel that fills the posterior segment of the eye. As we age, the vitreous undergoes a gradual process of liquefaction, changing from gel to liquid. Ultimately, the outer portion of residual gel separates from the retina. Retinal detachment are vision threatening emergencies and require prompt treatment with laser and sometimes surgery. About 15% of eyes with flashes of light and floaters have a retinal tear and so it is important to schedule a retina examination at Orange County Retina if you experience sudden onset of these symptoms.

    What can be done about floaters?

    Because you need to know if your retina is torn, call Orange County Retina offices if a new floater appears suddenly. Floaters can get in the way of clear vision, which may be quite annoying, especially if you are trying to read. You can try moving your eyes, looking up and then down to move the floaters out of the way. While some floaters may remain in your vision, many of them will diminish over time and become less troublesome. Even if you have had some floaters for years, you should have an eye examination immediately if you notice new ones.

  • Retinal Vein Occlusion

    This condition involves a blockage of blood to the retina or away from the retina. The severity of the damage to retinal tissues and thus to the vision is dependent on the severity of the occlusion. A blockage within the eye that only affects a portion of the eye is a Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion or Branch Retinal Artery Occlusion. The amount of damage is also determined by the severity of the blockage. Damage can range from slight visual disturbance to blindness.

    How do you treat Retinal Vein Occlusion?

    Treatment is not for the vein occlusion, but for the resulting effects. A vein occlusion may cause leakage from vessels that have increased pressure resulting from the backup of blood flow. The leakage may lead to macular edema, which is the swelling of the retina tissue in the center of the eye known as the macula. The treatment for a macular edema may involve laser treatment to the area of swelling or injection of intraocular medication.

    No treatment is available for an artery occlusion. Evaluation of the eye is necessary to ensure that the lack of blood flow to the eye does not lead to a condition called proliferative retinopathy. The proliferation refers to the occurrence of new vessels in the eye that are pathologic. They can lead to bleeding in the eye or to painful increase in the pressure of the eye. If evidence of this condition is present laser treatment is used to cause regression of the new blood vessel formation.

  • Macular Pucker

    The macula normally lies flat against the back of the eye, like a movie screen being projected on. When wrinkles, creases or bulges form on the macula, these formations are known as macular pucker.

    • Blurred central vision
    • Gray or cloudy area in central vision
    • Central blind spot
    • Distorted or wavy vision
    • Difficulty reading or performing tasks that require detail vision
    • Peripheral vision is not affected

    As you age, the vitreous-the clear, gel-like substance that fills the middle of your eye- begins to shrink and pull away from the retina. As the vitreous pulls away, scar tissue may develop on the macula. Sometimes the scar tissue may develop on the macula. Sometimes the scar tissue can warp and contract, causing the retina to wrinkle or bulge. Macular pucker is associated with vitreous detachment, detached or torn retina, inflammation inside the eye and disorders of the blood vessels in the retina.

  • Uveitis

    Uveitis specifically refers to inflammation involving the uvea, the middle of the three layers of the eye, but the common usage includes any inflammatory process of the eye. Ocular inflammatory disorders such as uveitis, scleritis, orbital inflammation, and mucous membrane pemphigoid are a leading cause of visual impairment and blindness.

    Ocular inflammation occurs in all ages, including very young children, and may signify the aftermath of an infection, such as cytomegalovirus or shingles in the eye, or may be associated with an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and sarcoidosis. It may also occur in the absence of systemic inflammation.

    What are the symptoms of Uveitis?

    • Blurred vision
    • Redness
    • Floaters
    • Eye pain
    • Light Sensitivity
  • Ocular Tumors

    Benign and malignant cancers can sometimes attack the eyes. Left untreated, ocular tumors threaten not only a person's vision, but his or her life as well.

    Tumors in the ocular region are rare. There are many different types of benign and malignant tumors that can occur in the orbit. Benign tumors are most common, with cavernous hemangiomas being the most common in this group. Most benign tumors can be observed, unless they are threatening vision by compressing the optic nerve.

    If vision is threatened, tumors can, in most cases, be carefully removed. Sometimes radiation may need to be performed if the tumor is difficult or dangerous to access. Malignant orbital tumors may need to be treated with surgical excision, radiation, or chemotherapy. Your Orange County Retina specialists will assess the condition of your tumor and make recommendations for treatment. Sometimes a combination of treatments may be necessary in these cases. In cases of benign orbital tumors, regular examinations should be performed to ensure no threat to vision is present.

  • Ocular Trauma

    Eye trauma refers to injury caused by a direct blow to the eye. The trauma may affect not only the eye, but the adjacent area, including material and bone structure. There are many different forms of trauma, varying in severity from minor injury to medical emergencies. At Orange County Retina offices we treat a number of eye trauma conditions, of course if you have an immediate need of treatment with severe injury we encourage you visit an emergency care facility.

    When the eye is hit with blunt force, it suddenly compresses and withdraws. This can cause blood to collect underneath the hit area, which leads to many of the common symptoms of eye trauma.

    Symptoms of eye trauma may include:

    • Bruising (black eyes)
    • Retinal detachment
    • Cuts or Scrapes
    • Eye redness
    • Swelling
    • Blurred or cloudy vision
    • Double vision